SriLankan Eyes A Return To Paris & Frankfurt

SriLankan Airlines is being asked to consider resuming flights from Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) to both Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG).

According to a report in the Colombo based Daily Financial Times quoted by CH-Aviation, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has asked the national flag carrier to bring back the Paris and Frankfurt flights. The oneworld alliance member stopped flying to the German financial center in October and the French capital in November of 2016.

The Sri Lankan government wants to attract French and German tourists. Photo: SriLankan

SriLankan only flies to London Heathrow in Europe

When speaking about reinstating the flights, the Daily FT quotes Minister Arundika Fernando as saying,

“We have started discussions with the national carrier on the need to resume services to either Frankfurt in Germany and/or Paris in France.

“These are hubs for the rest of Europe, and direct flights will boost arrivals.” He went on to say: “We have already submitted a proposal in this regard. Hence, if we start this flight service to Germany and France we can continue doing so.”

The government minister also suggested that financial assistance might be available to get the two European routes flying again.

At the moment, there are no scheduled flights from either Paris or Frankfurt to Colombo, with SriLankan Airlines’ only direct flight to Europe landing at London Heathrow (LHR). For the nine times weekly service, SriLankan Airlines operates an Airbus A330-300.

SriLankan is offering a 50% discount for students in China

In other SriLankan Airlines news, the island nation’s airline is, in light of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, following President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s instructions to help repatriate Sri Lankan students who are studying in China.

The first step SriLankan took was to offer students a 50% discount on its regularly scheduled flights from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN). In addition to this, the airline is working with both the Sri Lankan and Chinese governments to organize a charter flight to bring the students home.

SriLankan Airlines is offering students studying in China half-priced tickets to fly home. Photo: SriLankan

32 Sri Lankan students are in Wuhan

Of the 860 Sri Lankan students estimated to be in China, 32 are in the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan. The Sri Lankan embassy in Beijing is working with the Chinese authorities to evacuate them from the city. Currently, Wuhan is under a quarantine that bans anyone from traveling to or from the Hubei province capital. So far 81 people have died since becoming infected, with another 3,000 confirmed ill. Around the world, there have now been 44 confirmed cases of the SARS-like virus without any deaths.

A oneworld member since 2014, SriLankan Airlines is the largest international airline serving the Maldives and southern India, serving 111 destinations with flights and codeshares to 48 counties.

The Asian full-service airline has a long-haul fleet of aircraft that consist of six A330-200s and seven A330-300s. Other aircraft in SriLankan Airlines’ all-Airbus fleet includes five Airbus A320-200s, two Airbus A320neos, two Airbus A321-200s, and four Airbus A321neos.

It is hard to imagine SriLankan adding flights to Europe without government help. Photo: SriLankan

It would be nice if SriLankan Airlines resumed flights to Paris and Frankfurt, but it is hard to imagine them doing so without help from the government. As for the coronavirus outbreak in China, I think we will see more governments looking to repatriate their citizens.

As always we would love to hear what you think about the proposed flights to Europe and the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.